In our ever-increasing digital world, Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) is an essential piece of the marketing puzzle. Today, search engines like Google and Bing process trillions of searches. Search may be your primary source of traffic. 

So I was fortunate toI sit down with Issuu SEO Manager Alexis Krasinki for an informative discussion about the importance of SEO and the latest update to Google’s search algorithm: Core Web Vitals. 

Q: Issuu is an important platform for many creative and entrepreneurial people publishing and distributing content online. As the SEO expert at Issuu, how would you describe the role of SEO for marketers, content creators, and anyone who cares about their website being found on Google.

A: That’s a great question. SEO as a marketing discipline has been around for decades but it’s definitely becoming more and more a core part of any marketing strategy. 

One of the reasons for this is the way SEO has become tied to user experience (or UX). UX, of course, is a broad discipline. But in relation to SEO, UX ties in well with Google’s ranking signals and rewards what they consider good UX by ranking those pages higher in Search results. 

Q: Why is it the case that good UX is critical if you want to be ranked high on Search?

A: Today, you could make a strong case for the fact that good SEO is directly related to good UX. One of the examples of this truism is that the time it takes for your site to load in the viewer’s browser — otherwise known as page speed — is very important.

As the most-popular search engine in the world, Google has a big influence on defining effective SEO strategy, which is why the coming update to core ranking factors is so critical. That update is called Core Web Vitals. One of the primary implications of Google’s newest update is that the speed your site loads will be critical to your search ranking.

Q: Can you talk more about Core Web Vitals? It’s about to launch in May 2021, right?

A: Yes, a lot has been written about the upcoming algorithm update: Core Web Vitals. While the new ranking criteria is fairly technical, the most important thing for content creators and marketers to know is that, as of May 2021, it’ll be important for your SEO efforts to make sure your site uses lighter-weight images.

Technically, Google will use the following ranking criteria:

  • Largest Contentful Paint: The time it takes for a page’s main content to load. An ideal LCP measurement is 2.5 seconds or faster.

  • First Input Delay: The time it takes for a page to become interactive. An ideal measurement is less than 100 ms.

  • Cumulative Layout Shift: The amount of unexpected layout shift of visual page content. An ideal measurement is less than 0.1.

Q: If I’m making flipbooks and other assets on Issuu, what can I do to ensure my pages rank well on Google?

A: Actually, you don’t have to do anything. Issuu automatically generates individual articles linked to your flipbook to deliver the best mobile experience for your readers. So your flipbooks are already ready for the new Google update.

And our built-in AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) capabilities automatically optimize your articles and visual stories for page speed. AMP is a Google-supported, open-source project that will help ensure your pages are loading quickly and beautifully.